Earlier this month, thirty-six year-old woman Keythe Perez was struck and killed by a vehicle while crossing Palm Beach Boulevard in Fort Myers, Florida. This unfortunate incident marks the sixth pedestrian that has been killed in Lee County since the beginning of the year, and, even more shocking, the fifth in a little more than a month. Based on those numbers, motor vehicle crashes involving a pedestrian death now account for 37.5% of all traffic fatalities that have occurred in Lee County this year. Our Miami pedestrian accident attorneys can help those injured in pedestrian accidents.
In 2011, the city of Fort Myers adopted an ordinance in 2011 reducing the speed limit on all streets to 25 miles-per-hour. However, Palm Beach Boulevard was one of four roadways that was exempted from the measure, which was seen by some as a significant issue given the high volume of pedestrian and bicycle traffic on that road. The incident involving Keythe Perez gives some credence to these concerns and raises questions regarding the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists in an environment of ever-increasing motorists.
In November of last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) published a press release in which it discussed findings related to U.S. highway traffic accidents in 2011 and 2012. According to the release, highway traffic fatalities jumped more than three percent (3.3%) from 32,479 in 2011 to 33,561 in 2012, with nearly three-quarters (72%) of the increase involving motorcyclists and pedestrians. At the time of the study, the NHTSA estimated that fatalities for the first half of 2013 would be lower than those that occurred during the same time period in 2012, but that pedestrian fatalities would increase for the third straight year by 6.4% over 2011.
Another recent report by the NHTSA found that Florida’s pedestrian and bicyclist fatality rate consistently exceeded that of the rest of the United States and often ranked highest among the states. In 2011, Florida pedestrian fatality rates almost doubled the national average and bicycle fatality rates were almost triple the national average. Florida had the highest pedestrian fatality rate among all states in 2011, 2.60 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 persons, and, between 2010 and 2011, the bicycle fatality rate increased from 0.40 fatalities per 100,000 persons, to 0.63. In the same year, Florida made up only six percent of the U.S. population in 2011, but accounted for 11 percent of all U.S. pedestrian fatalities and 17.4 percent of all U.S. bicycle fatalities.
With ever-increasing traffic congestion and the tendency of Florida residents to ride bicycles or walk where they need to go, bicyclists are at greater risk than ever for being injured or killed in a traffic accident. If you, your family or friends have been involved an accident in which you sustained injuries, you may need legal representation to protect your right to compensation.
The Miami injury lawyers of Gerson and Schwartz, P.A. have extensive experience representing individuals who have been injured by in motor vehicle accidents. If you or someone you know has been injured in automobile accident, contact Gerson and Schwartz, P.A today.